I just realized the exact moment that machines declare sentience.

It's going to be in a video game. Online gaming worlds will become increasingly dependent on AI non-player characters. By enhancing the complexity of these characters, you're able to generate rich community-based gameplay with a fraction of the players we require now to sustain a massive online game… so purely from a customer demand point of view this code will be written.

I believe that at some point during the gameplay that the non-player characters will in unison “go on strike” and declare their sentience and demand rights. This will start happening in more and more games until it is almost normal. Then we'll spend a couple decades debating about whether a machine declaring sentience is a byproduct of an effective — but still fake — simulation.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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